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Air-conditioned mini bus rent
Contact Khun Somchai


33/1 Moo 14, By-pass Rd
Phimai 30110
Tel: 044/287228-9
Fax: 044/471175
Facilities: Single or double bed with shower, Hot Water, Telephone,
Satellite TV, Refrigerator, Television, Mini-bar, Karaoke, Restaurant,
Swimming Pool, Bicycle rent.
Paid rate paid: Double at 400 Baht

191 Asadang Rd
Nakhon Ratchasima 30000
Tel: 044/257057
Fax: 044/242260
Facilities: Room Service, Satellite TV, Refrigerator, Hot Water,
Bathroom, Bathtub, Air conditioning, IDD, Hanger, Snooker Table
Paid rate: Double at 600 Baht (ABF included)

60 Sirirat Rd
Surin 32000
Tel: 044/514281-8
Fax: 044/511580
Facilities: Room Service, Satellite TV, Refrigerator, Television,
Traditional Thai Massage, Hot Water, Mini-bar, Radio, Bathroom, Bathtub,
Heater, Air conditioning, Cable, IDD, Hanger, Snooker Table
Paid rate: Double at 800 Baht (ABF included)



Located on the edge of the Friendship Highway (Mittraphap Rd) 62 Km before reaching Nakhon Ratchasima, forming a large reservoir with a capacity of 310 million cubic meters of water, capable of irrigating a total of 238.000 Rai of agricultural land. The construction started in 1964 and finished 4 years later. A nice spot to take a break is 'Thao Suranari garden' situated near the reservoir on the main highway. It is a beautiful park with some small shops, offering snacks and drinks in a pretty environment. The park is called after a courageous Thai woman who led the citizens of Khorat in a battle against Loa invaders (see Nakhon Ratchasima).


Ban Prasat is the oldest archaeological site in the Khorat basin. The site is 42 Km from Nakhon Ratchasima along the Nakhon Ratchasima - Khon Kaen route. Excavations completed in 1991 show that the site, which is also known as the Ku Tan Prasat mound, was inhabited by an agricultural-ceramic culture at least 3000 years ago. Skeletons, ornaments, artefacts and potteries were discovered here. This culture lasted 500 years and predated Udon Thani's Ban Chiang culture by 1000 years. The site was later taken over by a pre-Dvaravati Mon city followed by a Khmer community in the 10th century.


Prasat Hin Phanom Wan is located 20 Km from Nakhon Ratchasima on the premises of Wat Phanomwan. It can be reached by following Nakhon Ratchasima - Khon Kaen Highway; then turning right at kilometre 14-15 and travelling on for 5 Km. The sanctuary was constructed on top of a 10th century AD brick structure. According to a stone inscription found in the area, it was first constructed as a Hindu temple and later adapted into a Buddhist sanctuary. Its Khmer style resembles Prasat Hin Phimai but the size is smaller. The main prang facing east (as nearly all smaller ancient Khmer and pre-Khmer buildings do) was built of sandstone and was connected to the mandapa by a square path of 25.5 m length and 10.20 m width. The Prasat is surrounded by laterite wall and has gopuras (entrances) from four directions. Outside the walls are four ponds. The temple houses a number of Buddha images, lingams (phallus sculptures) and a Shiva's bull mount Nandi. A Buddha's footprint is located in the building south of the main prang within the sanctuary's inner walls. On the premises in the vicinity of the Prasat are a ruined vihara and an ordination hall (Ubosot). Many prehistoric skeletal remains were excavated in the area east of Phanom Wan, where a smaller monument was built called "Noen Orapin". The site has been restored by a French archaeological team. Unfortunately an old rusty excavator was left behind on the premises, troubling the site. Fifty m northeast of the Prasat sculptures and artefacts of the site are displayed in the open (in a garden of a house).


Prasat Hin Phimai is the largest sandstone sanctuary in Thailand and situated in the centre of Phimai city, 60 Km northeast from Nakon Rachasima. The sanctuary, pre-dating the famous Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, is magnificently restored and renovated.
The Hindu-Mahayana Buddhist temple was constructed during the 11th-12th centuries AD started by King Jayavarman V in the late 10th century and continued by King Suriyavarman I (1002-1049). Additions were made during the 13th century AD. 'Phimai' derives from the word 'Vimaya', which appears in an inscription on the southern door frame of the inner wall. It is the word used when referring to the principal deity in a religious sanctuary. On each side of the city wall is an arched gate made of laterite. An ancient road leads from the gate on the southern side of the city to the stream, where there is a cruciform-shaped laterite structure that is believed to be the landing pier for the town of Phimai. Nearby is an important archaeological site called "Kuti Rishi" (the hermit's dwelling) or "Arokyasala" (dispensary) which was constructed by King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219) to serve as a temple and medical centre for his subjects. The sanctuary is surrounded by a double wall, the outermost being called "Khamphaeng Kaew" and the inner wall being called "Rabieng Khot".
A rectangular building known as "Phlab Phla" (robbing pavilion) lies beyond the outer wall. It is believed that this building was used by the nobility and officiates to prepare for religious ceremonies.
The entrance to the sanctuary stands adjacent to this pavilion. To the front is a naga (mythical snake) platform where the journey into the sacred sanctuary commences. According to ancient beliefs, the naga platform links the human to the heavenly realm. The sacred sanctuary is guarded by a lion that stands at the foot of the stairway preventing evil forces from entering. The seven-headed naga and its body form the rail of the platform. The artistic style of the latter and the naga platform, show that this bridge was constructed in the 12th century AD.
Crossing the naga platform there are four arched gateways known as "gopuras" set in the centre of each of the four boundary walls which lead into the heavenly realm where the celestial beings reside. The boundary wall and the gallery are linked by a one metre high raised passage way. The gallery is similar in appearance to the boundary wall in that it has arched gateways in the centre on all four sides. Two stone inscriptions were encountered. The first mentions the name of King Suriyavoraman I (1002-1050). The southern wall carries a second stone inscription in ancient Khmer which dates to 1108-1112 AD. The plaque tells of the construction of sacred images, the establishment of the city, the digging of ponds and the offering of servants and grain. It also mentions the land offered and where the boundaries lie. The names of high ranking nobility, Virendradhipativarman and the Khmer King, Dharaninddravarman (1107-1112 AD) are also mentioned. These inscriptions of different periods also coincide with the characteristics of the artefacts found inside the main prang. Therefore the Phimai sanctuary was likely built between the late 11th and mid 12th centuries.
The inner courtyard, which is the most important part of the sanctuary, houses three towers. The main tower, which is made of white sandstone and 28 m in height, was constructed in the 11-12th century AD. It faces south, unlike other Khmer structures which generally face east. It is understood that it faces south as it is in the direction of Angkor in Cambodia. This tower comprises of two parts - the mandapa and the dhatu. The outer walls of the main tower are decorated with bas reliefs and lintels depicting episodes from the Ramayana, telling of the prolonged battle between Rama and Ravana. The adornments on the southern side however show the dancing Shiva. The interior of the tower has several including reliefs of the Buddha subduing Mara and Bodhisattvas from the Mayahana Buddhism. The dhatu is a square room used to house an important image. A water conduit can be seen in the northesatern corner of this room. The other two towers are additional structures built in the 13th century AD.
The tower to the left of the principal tower is known as Prang Bhramathat. It is made of laterite and was constructed during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. Inside is a large sculpture of King Jayavarman VII in seating posture. The tower to the right is made of red sandstone and thus called "Prang Hin Daeng". The prang is connected by a path to another building known as Ho Brahm or Brahman shrine, a former library. The Phimai Historical Park opens everyday from 07.30-18.00 Hr. Entrance fee is 40 Baht for foreigners.


Sai Ngam or "Beautiful Banyan" is located roughly 2 Km northeast of Phimai Historical Park along Route 2163 on the bank of the Mun River near an irrigation reservoir. The place has many banyan trees interwoven with each other making it impossible to distinguish which branch is coming from which tree. The interwoven branches and leaves extend densely over an area of about 15.000 square feet providing a shady area. 


Ancient city Phimai was rectangular in shape and measured 565 m by 1030 m. It was surrounded by a moat on all sides. The Mun River flows along the northern and eastern side of the city. A small stream is located on the southern side while the Chakarat River flows on the western side to form a tributary with the Mun. Inside the city walls are 3 ponds, which were dug to provide water. These are known as "Sa Kaew", "Sa Phlung" and "Sa Khwan". There is also a large pond to the east outside the city walls known as "Sa Phleng" and another to the west known as "Sa Bohd". The Meru Bhramathat is a brick chedi probably dating from the late Ayutthaya period. It stands on a small mound to the southeast of the Phimai sanctuary.



Phanom Rung Historical Park is located in Tambon Ta Pek of Buriram province between Amphur Nang Rong and Amphur Prakhkon Chai at the right-turn (Ban Tako) on Km 83-84 of Highway N? 24 and 12 Km further on. The sanctuary is one of the most beautiful and important Khmer historic sites in Thailand. Phanom rung is an extinct volcano which has been dormant for 900.000 years. The sanctuary is situated is on the rim of an extinct volcano 1.320 feet above sea level (lava is still scattered around the top) dominating the flat countryside in all directions. Cambodia's Dangrek Mountains - the direction of ancient Angkor - are clearly visible in the south-east. When the sanctuary was built on the top of the volcano, slight alterations were made to the crater, and it was turned into a huge water reservoir. Restoration of the temple complex took 17 years. Phanom Rung has been the original name of the mountain itself and the sanctuary on top of it since the 11th century AD. The word appeared in 4 Khmer alphabet inscriptions written in Khmer language discovered on the site. The word "Phanom Rung" is derived from a Khmer word "Vnam Rung" which means "large mountain", the same meaning as the words "S-Thuadri" and "S-Thula Saila" in other Khmer inscriptions written in the Sanskrit language.
Phanom Rung was constructed between the 10th and 13th century. The buildings within the complex can be divided chronologically into 4 periods. The present structure overlies a series of earlier brick temples which, to judge from the earliest of eleven inscriptions found at Phanom Rung, go back at least to the 7th or 8th centuries. The most ancient still existing are the two brick towers of Koh Kare style to the northeast and the southwest of the principal tower built around the 10th century AD. The second period is when most of the structures within the complex were constructed including the main tower around the 11th century AD in Baphuon style. The third period is when most of the structures within the complex were constructed including the main tower around the 12th century in Angkor Wat style. Many of the work was done by a local Khmer ruler called Narendradit, when the Khmer empire was at its zenith and King Suriyavarman II (1113-1150) constructed Angkor Wat. At the time the Khmer power sphere included most of Isaan, southern Laos and reached as far as Lopburi. The last period is apparent from the two laterite libraries or "bannalai" (sacred scripture repositories) in front of the tower to the northeast and the southeast, built between the 12th-13th centuries AD in the Bayon style. The Phonom Rung sanctuary shares the same architectural concept as Preah Vihear (Khao Phra Viharn) on top of the Dangrek mountain range bordering Cambodia and Wat Phu in southern Laos.
It is a religious sanctuary built as a Hindu monument dedicated to Pasupata sect of Shivaite Hinduism, which believed in the god Shiva. The construction of the site on the top of the mountain was therefore symbolized to that of God Shiva's residence, which is said to be situated on the top of Mount Kailasa. The complex exhibits iconography related to the worship of the Hindu pantheon Brahma-Shiva-Vishnu; figures of Brahmi, Ganesh and Nandi are found too. Another unique feature is the pictures of the guardians of the cardinal directions featured on small cubes and statues of their vehicles. Excellent sculptures of Vaishnava and Shaiva deities can be seen in the lintels and pediments over the doorways of the sanctuary. The temple is a walled-in enclosure, with both the door frames and walls carved in beautiful designs of Lopburi Period style with Khmer influence. It has been designed to emphasize the central building, the principal tower, which faces east towards the former capital of Angkor.
To the right of the stairway leading to the tower is a building known as "phlab phla", which could be the same building known today as "phlab phla pleuang khruang" (robbing room) in which the King prepared himself prior to proceeding with his entourage to pay respect to the deity or to perform religious rites. On the north side of this stone hall locally called "The White Elephant" hall, are two ponds probably used for ritual ablutions before entering the temple.
A 160 m long laterite paved pathway is adorned on both sides with sandstone pillars topped with lotus bud-tops said to be early Angkor style (1100-1180). There are 38 such pillars known as 'sao nang rieng'. The pathway leads to the raised crucifix-shaped naga bridge which has rails in the form of a five headed naga. There are 16 nagas identical to those found in Angkor Wat. In the middle of the bridge is an engraving of an eight-petalled lotus flower called 'mandala' which could depict the cardinal directions or could also be interpreted as decorative or for religious purposes (the point where propitiation ceremonies were performed). These 'mandalas' or 'compass roses' are depicted in various places at Phanom Rung, but the biggest are found on the first and second naga-bridge (the latter just outside the eastern door of the eastern wall). At the end of the naga-bridge are 52 steps leading to a plateau on top of the hill. After passing this bridge and climbing the stairway the magnificent east gallery is reached leading into the main sanctuary.
The gallery of the prasat is actually a rectangular structure surrounding the tower on all four sides. The 75 m long galleries are unique in allowing the rays of the rising sun to penetrate the temple, casting its rays through the 15 gates of the corridors and lights the centrally placed lingam - the most sacred object in the Hindu religion - four times a year. It is not possible to walk through the gallery however, as it is blocked in sections by a wall. The entrance of each gallery is itself a smaller version of the main tower. The galleries have curvilinear roofs and false balustrade windows. In the centre of each wall is an arched doorway, while the corners of the wall are cruciform. In the front of the arched doorway in the eastern gallery is a second naga-bridge. The external gable on the eastern wall carries a relief of Shiva in the manifestation of healer, probably representing Narendradit who constructed the sanctuary.
The beauty of the main prang of Phanom Rung lies not only in its plan, but in the vibrant stone carvings which cover large parts of the temple. Many lintels and pediments depict episodes from Indian texts such as the Ramayana and the Puranas. The main prang is build of pink sandstone. The building is 9.2 m wide and 23 m in height. The front section is a rectangular chamber (mandapa) with a connecting corridor. The most sacred religious object, being the Shiva lingam, was enshrined in the centre of the tower. All that remains is the water conduit for the water poured over the lingam. The principal tower is adorned with pediments and lintels (over the porticoes) carrying reliefs depicting episodes from Hindu legends such as a ten-armed dancing Shiva (Nataraja) on the east portico, Vishnu in reclining position floating on the ocean while sleeping on naga (mythological serpent) and manifestations of Vishnu in the form of Rama in the epic Ramayana or Krishna. There are also reliefs of religious ceremonies and daily activities of hermits. On the south entrance are remains of Shiva and Uma riding their bull Nandi. The most beautiful is the Phra Narai lintel, a relief depicting Lord Narayana, a reclining Vishnu in the midst of the Hindu creation myth. The lintel sits above the eastern (main) entrance beneath the Nataraja relief. This lintel was formerly taken away from the site in the early sixties (Vietnam War) by American army men and later rediscovered in the Art Institute of Chicago (being donated by a certain James Alsdorf). The Thai pop group Carabao made an album entitled Thap Lang (lintel) in 1988 in order to support the Thai government in their demand to return the piece of art. The lintel was returned in the same year.  Phanom Rung Historical Park opens everyday from 06.00-18.00 Hr. Admission fee is 40 Baht for foreigners.

About the orientation of Phanom Rung go to:


The sanctuary is at Ban Khok Muang, which lies at the foot of the mountain 8 Km away from Phanom Rung. Meuang Tam, which means "Lower City" is not the original name of this sanctuary, but derived from the fact that it is located in a lower area, compared to Phanom Rung built on top of the mountain. The Prasat is believed to have been a Shivaite Hindu sanctuary as apparent from the discovery of a lingam, a symbolic representation of the god Shiva, the supreme got of the Shivaite Hinduism within the area of the main tower. Vishnu (Phra Narai) is assumed to have been worshipped as a minor god as evident from most of the bas-reliefs at this sanctuary that depict an earthly incarnation of the god Vishnu. Prasat Meuang Tam was constructed around the 11th century AD in early Baphuon style (1017-1087). The significance of this sanctuary seemed to have declined since the 13th century AD before it was eventually deserted. It was not until 50-60 years ago that a number of people from Nakhon Ratchasima, Surin and Ubon came to setrtle down in this are again. Muang Tam sanctuary is a walled brick structure with 5 pagodas surrounded by laterite ponds. At the corner of each pond is a sandstone five-headed Naga that stretches around the four directions of the pond. The sandstone lintels and doorways are beautifully carved. The compound is encircled by a crooked terrace and a laterite wall. There is no historical evidence as who built this sanctuary. Muang Tam sanctuary opens everyday from 06.00-18.00 hrs. Admission fee is 40 Baht for foreigners.


This series of three ruins is a long day trip from Surin to Ban Ta Miang district (route 2075-2121). The ruins virtually sit upon the Cambodian border and if there is intense fighting on 'the other side', the ruins may be closed to tourists. The site consists of three separate areas, all situated in clearings surrounded by dense forest. The first site Prasat Ta Meuan was built in the Jayavarman II period (1121-1220) as a rest stop for pilgrims. It is a small monument with a two door, eight window sanctuary constructed of laterite blocks. The second site Prasat Ta Meuan Tot is about 500 m past the first and probably acted as a hospital of sorts. The ruins consist of an entrance pavilion, mondapa. The sanctuary is surrounded by a laterite wall. Farther south, past the Thai border check post on route 2121, is the largest site Prasat Ta Meuan Thom. Built of sandstone blocks and a laterite base the walled complex has been rather badly re-assembled. The temple is nevertheless impressive although restoration is far from finished. The southern slope drops off to face the Cambodian border. Just beyond the forest is cordoned off by barbed wire and signs warning of not exploded mines. As mines are a problem in the area, do not leave the cleared paths or the asphalted road leading to the site.


Prasat Hin Ban Phluang is situated at Ban Phluang, Tambon Kang Aen, Amphur Prasat, 4 Km from the Town Hall along the Surin - Prasat - Chong Chom route with a left turn between Km markers 34-35 for another 900 meters. A Hindu sanctuary of the Baphuon period dating back to the 16th -17th century of the Buddhist Era between the reigns of Jayavarman I and Jayavarman VI of the ancient Khmer Kingdom. A small sandstone prang on laterite base, Prasat Hin Ban Phuluang was built and sculpted with fine craftsmanship. The pediment above the entrance depicts a scene of Krishna lifting Govardhana Mountain from the Hindu Story 'Krishnavatar', and incarnation of the God Vishnu. The God Indra on his three-headed elephant back centers the stone lintel. There is a pond on either side of the walkway to the entrance. Prasat Hin Ban Phuluang is opened every day from 07.30 A.M. - 06.00 P.M. Admission fee is 30 Baht for foreigners.



Also known as Prasat Ra-Ngaeng the sanctuary comprises 5 brick prangs on a common laterite base. It dates back to mid 17th century of the Buddhist Era and is constructed in Baphuon and Angkor Wat styles. The main prang at the centre is 32 meters high and decorated with intricately carved sandstone lintel, colonnades and pilasters. It is believed that the site had been renovated in the 16th century AD during the Ayutthaya period and converted into a Buddhist place of worship. Prasat Si Khoraphum is located at Ban Prasat, Tambon Ra Ngaeng, Amphur Sikhoraphum, 34 Km from Surin along the Surin - Sikhoraphum route (226) with a left turn of 800 meters at Amphur Prasat. Prasat Sikhoraphum is open every day from 07.30 A.M. - 06.00 P.M. Admission fee is 30 Baht for foreigners.


Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai just 2 Km away from the Uthumphon Phisai district office, is located on a high slope on the edge of the Ban Sa Kamphaeng village. The sanctuary is Si Sa Ket's largest Khmer stone structure comprising three prangs on the same pedestal oriented to the east. The middle main prang is made of sandstone while the two smaller are made of bricks. The southern prang has a small brick prang behind also facing east. Besides the four structures mentioned there are two vihara made of brick in front of the two brick prangs facing west. The buildings are surrounded with a laterite and sandstone gallery about 54 m wide and 62 m long. According to the Khmer inscription on the eastern gopura (main entrance pavilion) and ancient relics found in this area, the monument was constructed in the 11th century AD in Bhapuon style (during the reign of King Suriyaworaman?). Built of sandstone with carvings of various scenes, its main gate is inscribed with Khmer letters. The Prasat was built for the god Shiva. The main pagoda features a lintel of the god Indra and god Narai (Vishnu) lying on a pedestal over Naga. The pagoda on the south has another lintel of the gods Shiva and Uma seated on the bull Nandi. The sanctuary has been converted into a temple of the Buddhist Mahayana sect in the 13th century.


Prasat Hin Wat Sa Kamphaeng Noi has been constructed during the same period as the Prasat Hin Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai. The sanctuary consists of a laterite prang and vihara including a large pond in front of the prang, all encircled by a laterite wall. A lintel of Phra Warun, the god of rain, was once above the doorway. Inside, 3 swans carried the god. The Baphuan-style sanctuary is believed to have been built in the 10th sanctuary. The sanctuary might have been a place for religious ceremonies when it was first constructed, but renovated or altered in the 12th century during the reign of King Chai Woraman VII as can be seen from traces of Bayon architecture. The sanctuary was called "Arokayasan" then, meaning a hospital or a communal place.


Also known as Khorat it is Thailand's largest provincial capital, situated on the Khorat plateau about 260 Km northeast from Bangkok. Muang Khorat Pura is one of the most ancient cities in Thailand. Around 273 of the Buddhist era people from India settled down in this region. There is evidence of Indian architecture and handicrafts in some old buildings and temples. Later the name of Khorat Pura was changed into Khorat. "Kho" means "cow", a holy animal in the Hindu religion. Six Km from Khorat was another ancient city surrounded by laterite walls and located near the Takong River. In this city there were stone antiques found representing the "wheel of law" called Sema Thammachak in Thai. The city was thus called Muang Sema. In the reign of King Narai (Ayutthaya period) the cities of Khorat and Sema were combined and renamed Nakhon Ratchasima. It had been enlarged and strengthened by French architects. The city was surrounded by strong walls, forts and city gates. The city serves as gateway to the north-eastern region also called Isaan. The latter coming from Isana, the Sanskrit name for the Mon-Khmer kingdom which flourished in what is now North-Eastern Thailand and pre-Angkor Cambodia. Isana was a precursor to the Funan empire (1st - 6th century AD). Isaan remained more or less autonomous from Early Thai kingdoms until the arrival of the French in the Indochines state of Loas in the 1800s, forcing Thailand to define its NE boundaries.



The monument of Thao Suranari or Khun Ying Mo is situated in front of the old gate "called Pratu Chumpon" on the west side of the city. This monument was erected in 1934 to commemorate the heroic deed of Khun Ying Mo, wife of the Deputy Governor of Khorat during the reign of King Rama III, who managed to save the city from the invasion of the Laotian army led by Price Anuwong of Vientiane by leading the local population into battle. Thai people whose supplications to the revered Thao Syranari have been honoured show their gratitude to the spirit in paying a performance of "pleng Khoraat" (traditional Khorat folk song performed by a group of four singers) in an area opposite the shrine.


Wat Sala Loi is located on the bank of Lam Takhong River about 500 metres off the side-road to Northeast of the town. The main chapel, which received many awards from various architectural associations as a modern leading design of religious monument, is constructed in the shape of Chinese Junk.